Kelly Good - Bikini Competitor, UFE Pro Fitness Model

When I was 25 I moved to Chicago from a rural town outside of Flint, Michigan after graduating from college with a degree in performing arts. I was hoping to be a performing artist, mainly focusing on musical theater and commercial work, but after moving to the city and living that lifestyle for a while I quickly realized that it was not a good fit for me. After moving to Chicago, I was immediately far less physically active than I had been when living in Michigan. I loved to dance, but rarely took classes and stopped working out because money was tight initially and a gym membership wasnít an option. After a series of events I was left questioning everything from my physical health to my mental health. My husband, who had reached a similar point physically, decided to get back into shape. After about a year and a half to 2 years of working out, he made the decision to try a fitness competition as he had trained with a family member who was preparing for a body building competition and had learned about the workout routines and nutrition.

Kelly Good

In moving here we had both sacrificed hobbies to pursue a life in the city. Being from the country we were generally active people, riding motorcycles and dirt bikes, hunting, hiking, fishing, etc. Back in Michigan my husband owned his own lawn care and landscaping business, was a master gardener, and worked another job while he also went to school. I was in college for dance and took dance classes, taught dance classes at a local studio, and was very active in general. We both would exercise, but we were not familiar with advanced exercise movements or fitness competition preparation at that time. Once we moved to the city everything changed to a more sedentary lifestyle as we tried to acclimate ourselves to our new life.

Once I saw my husband compete and place, I was excited to try it as well since I did enjoy working out. So I decided I would give it a shot and signed up to compete with my husband in the same organization and competition a year later. I was terrified but knew if I spent the money to register I would follow through as I am not one to waste money. I decided to try the bikini class for my first competition as it was the softest category in regards to muscle mass and definition, which allowed for a higher body fat percentage and was much less intimidating then the other categories. I placed 2nd in my first show, and from that point on I was hooked. I really found a sense of self-worth in that moment and wanted to grow and find beauty in my strength. I continued to push myself a little more to see what I was capable of, because for many years I had just made excuses to not try my best or not even try at all.


My diet seems to change often since I have started competing. As Iíve grown in this sport, I continue to learn more about what works best for my body. I have always been interested in nutrition and did study it in college as a dancer, but it wasnít nearly to the extent of what I have learned through this sport as well as my certifications over the last few years. I am blessed to have found a phenomenal coach who is kind, patient and understanding as well as wise. She actually takes the time to help me understand what she is doing with my diet, why and how it works, to keep me moving towards my goals. She also takes into account the mental, spiritual and emotional health of a competitor, which I think is the most important thing. I see a lot of competitors get into disordered eating habits which ultimately ends there competitive career as they end with metabolic issues.

When I first started competing I really just went back to what I learned in college about macronutrients, eating a balanced diet and setting an exercise routine. I went to and started to research different free trainers and programs that they offered, and I decided to try a 12 week program by Jamie Eason. I also started experimenting with carb cycling as I tended to be someone who LOVED carbs and craved them a lot. I know I needed to create a more even balance in my diet. Once I started carb cycling my body responded quickly, and I started to see more lean muscle definition. It was about 6 weeks into the 12 week trainer that I felt like the program was too easy, so I went back online to continue my research, and thatís when I found numerous fit women who just empowered me and really lit a fire in my heart. I downloaded their programs and again experimented with what they suggested, did research as to why, and took pictures and measurements to see how my body was progressing.

Ultimately after working with my current coach for about 2 years, getting my nutrition and sports nutrition certifications, and through trial and error, I found that what works best for my body type to maintain lean muscle mass while still making gains in strength and muscle. This was a high fat, high protein diet. Itís obviously much more complex than just high fat and protein intake, however this past year (2016) was the first full year that I tried to not have a bulk season, off season or break. I really felt that it was important for me to find a sustainable balance in the lifestyle overall and wanted to feel my best year round. I did not drink alcohol, tried to stay away from sugar keeping my daily intake at or below 30 g a day, would make sure to drink a gallon of water a day, ate every 2 to 3 hours, logged most to all of my food, did meal prep weekly, and had only one to two planned ďtreat mealsĒ a week.

Once I learned more about ketosis and higher fat diets, I started using that as a tool to help me lean out more as I have learned my body is extremely sensitive to carbs and can hold onto the glycogen from a normal carb intake day for about 5 to 7 days before they are depleted and the ketone levels in my body are elevated. This yearís UFE World Championships 2016 competition prep consisted mostly of cycles of low to no carb days for about 5 to 6 days straight, taking the 7th day to eat a more normal carb intake and lower the fat back down to a normal percentage as well.

I feel confident saying my 2017 diet will be very similar to this structure as I feel that I can maintain a leaner body off season as well as add lean muscle mass while still reaching my strength goals. I do notice that my strength is reduced on the lower carb days, so I have had to adjust my training accordingly to make sure I am training as safely as possible.

I will admit that in high school and college I struggled with eating disorders, so I obviously tried numerous things in my life trying to lose weight. I have tried eating 1400 calories a day while exercising excessively, however that simply doesnít work well with long term goals. It sets your body up for failure in more ways than one. It wasnít only until I started to really educate myself, work with a nutritional coach, and get certified in nutrition/Sports nutrition that I realized that I actually knew very little about healthy eating and nutrition.

Once I started eating food to heal and fuel my body to keep it in good running order, I started implementing a macronutrient program in my diet. I began carb cycling and still do in one way or another. In the beginning of my competition career I would try a cycle of 2 days lower carb followed by 1 day of normal carb intake. I would increase my carbs to a normal intake percentage on the carb up day, and then go extremely low carb with higher fat and protein on my low carb days. On these days I would only consume vegetables lower in the glycemic index, and leafy cruciferous veggies to help get my micronutrients. This approached worked for me until about 2 years in and then my body adapted to it.

Now I tend to have to get my body into a ketosis, which usually means 5 to 6 days of low carb intake, before I will have a refeed or carb up day. I use ketone strips for a reference to help me gauge my progress. I do feel my strength levels do suffer a little with the low carb diet, but I usually have a good amount of energy after a week or so in ketosis. This seems to be the best for my body at the moment. I have been able to make lean muscle gains while still maintaining a leaner physique.


My training also has changed through the years as I have grown to earn my UFE pro card. This yearís World Championships training consisted of different phases. Two muscle building phases, one conditioning phase and one maintenance phase, in which I cycle through throughout the year. I train myself but do have a nutritional coach, who is a genius, that helps me learn and understand what she is doing with my diet, as well as providing assistance with how much training I should do and when. The specific training structure I create myself. My training usually consists of cardio and weight training but depending on the phase I am in, the modality, length and weight used will all be different.

I am doing about 45 minutes of cardio a day at least 4 to 5 days a week in my off season. Cardio sessions are broken up usually between a fasted cardio in the morning before breakfast and a cardio session after my weight training. I like to keep my body guessing and will use light and moderate intensity steady state cardio and HIIT training. When in competition prep the cardio sessions usually increase in time gradually until I get close to being stage ready then, they hold the same or decrease in time until the competition. Also while in my off season I usually try to build muscle lifting heavier weights with lower reps. I also like to mix my strength training up by doing circuits, drop sets, pyramid and reversers pyramidís, super sets and offsetting the strength training exercises with each circuit by adding plyometric and band training at the end of each set. My strength training sessions usually last for an hour to 2.5 hours depending on the allowed time and muscle group I am working. I usually do weight training 4 to 5 days a week.

My diet stays the same usually year around or at least it did this last year in 2016, and I plan to do the same in 2017 as well. My diet is always macronutrient based and will fluctuate in calories from week to week and month to month. It is usually only adjusted when trying to push past a plateau I might hit in cutting or muscle gains. It is a high fat high protein diet, based on cycles of low carb and refeed days. On my refeed days I usually would lift heavier as these are the days that I have more glycogen in my muscles and can lift heavier and for longer.

Kelly Good

On stage

To be honest I am still a very insecure person. I do work on my mental growth just as much as my physical growth. I tend to be the woman at the beach who wears shorts to her knees and a tank top. Rarely ever will you catch me in a bikini at the beach without some sort of cover up on. I am more of a tom boy, and it took some real getting used to being on stage in a bikini. As an aspiring performer from the age of 3, I loved being on stage and putting on a show, however doing it in a tiny bathing suit while asking people that you donít really know to judge you on the way you look is a totally different ball game. For my first competition I was just proud of what I had accomplished after going through so much personally such as gaining weight and losing weight, a shift in my career, the death of my brother, mental breakdowns and more. I finally felt I was on a better path, and my husband stood by me helping with my prep and competing with me. I loved that we were taking on this new goal together which has brought us closer, and I wanted to make him proud to call me his wife as well. All of these things have helped me significantly to love myself and my body, imperfections and all.

For the next series of competitions the confidence came through the strength that I gained in my training and diet. For most of my adult life I have been the type of girl that felt small, unworthy of love, alone, and I struggled greatly with depression, PTSD and self-worth. After placing 2nd in my first show I felt like I found a sport I might be good at, and I was inspired to see what my body and mind could do if I had tried a little harder. Like I said, I began to really research an implement the things I was learning. I never in my life knew what I was capable of because I was always giving reasons not to try, saying I couldnít do it, I wasnít strong enough, what if I failed?! I am a Christian, or at least try to be, and I started using my gym time to pray and talk with God. I asked him to help me find beauty in my life that was not qualified by what I saw in the mirror. Before I knew it, I was doing push-ups, pull ups and lifting heavier and heavier weight, crushing PRís and loving myself more and more for not quitting when I wanted to. My confidence grew as I started to tell myself ďyes I canĒ instead of ďno I canítĒ. Once I stopped letting the negative self-talk and the irrational thoughts cycle through my head asking God to help me love myself for what I do in this life, not what I look like, I really started to feel confident. I accepted that I wasnít perfect and thatís okay, I would just keep working towards my goals.

I decided that I would start trying to help other women who might feel the way I did, and I wanted to be an inspiration to others like me that may struggle with loving their bodies. With each year that my education and strength grew, and so did my confidence. It is still a struggle for me as someone who will always struggle with clinical depression, but I have to remember to actively take control of my thoughts and not let the negative thought patterns sneak in. On days that I struggle, I go back to pictures from the past when I was unhealthy and unhappy, and I remember how far I have come. I do my best to remember that I am beautiful regardless of what I look like on the outside, and that the beauty of the flesh does fade. That if I can say I gave my best in everything I did, then I am happy with who I am and in the end that is what makes me stand tall with confidence. Knowing I followed through, kept my word, learned and grew, gained strength and gave my all each time around.

This yearís 2016 World Championship competition was very surreal for me. I earned my pro card last year just two weeks prior to the World Championships and was very nervous and scared to be there with such high caliber competitors. There was not one person at the 2015 World Championships that didnít look simply phenomenal. I remember letting myself cycle through negative thoughts about being there, asking myself how I could step onstage with these people, telling myself I wasnít good enough to be there. I placed 11th out of 17 and was pretty sure I wasnít quiet professional material. After it was all said and done, and I saw pictures of myself onstage I realized I was the only one holding myself back from enjoying the stage. My physique was a work in progress yes, but I was there because others had thought I worked hard enough to be there. So this last year I really worked on giving it my all year around. I feel like this helped me to know when I did step onstage, that I did everything I could to deserve to be there and whatever happened from that point on was Godís will for me in this sport.

This year having that mindset, trusting myself and knowing I gave it my all let me be at peace while there. From the time of arrival, at check-ins and on the actual stage, I was really calm and would listen to music and pray if I got overwhelmed. Focusing on the positive thoughts, giving myself little pep talks to remember to give my best and forget the rest; to trust in god and he would direct my path, to believe in myself and in all I had did to get there. All of these things made a drastic change mentally between 2016 and 2015.

My goal this year was to place higher than last, so anything 10th place or above would have been good enough for me. Little did I know I would jump the gap in my placing from 11th in 2015 to 2nd in 2016, winning World Champion runner up. I was in awe of my placing and am proud to say I achieved what it was I set out to accomplish.

Future plans

I have set numerous goals for myself for the 2017 season. I hope to grow and further develop myself as a nutritionist and trainer by furthering my education, as well as pursuing a fitness modeling career. I would love to work towards supplement/brand sponsorships as well and land a spread in a fitness magazine.

As far as my fitness goals, Iíd like to grow my physique in certain areas focusing on gaining more muscle in my upper body (i.e. wider lats, bigger traps and shoulder caps), as well as achieve more definition in the lower body (i.e. more separation between muscle groups). Cardio is always been a love and hate relationship for me, so I plan on running more in my off season to increase my time and over all endurance. I aim to enjoy cardio one day.

As far as my competitive career, I hope to try the figure category in 2017 sometime, but I havenít picked out a specific date. I also plan to compete again at the UFE World Championships 2017 in the fitness model category once more and place better than this year, hence placing 1st!!

Kelly Good
Instagram: Kelly_S_Good

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